Talk of the UFC’s counter programing measures against CBS/EliteXC and Affliction has sparked mixed reaction among fans and pundits of the sport. Some feel that counter programing represents a cheap shot and makes the UFC appear tacky, others believe that the UFC is dispatching a good business tactic that will yield real results for the organization in the coming months and years. Regardless, the UFC plans to continue utilizing the tactic as Dana White revealed to Kevin Iole yesterday:
He’s planning a special of some sort that will air on July 26, the same night as Elite XC’s return date on CBS, though he wouldn’t give details.
This will be the UFC’s third attempt at counter programming against it’s competition. The UFC showed a Chuck Liddell biography special opposite EliteXC’s CBS debut late last march, which met with limited success. They are also throwing together a last minute, Ultimate Fight Night event featuring middleweight champion Anderson Silva, to counter Affliction’s debut.
Affliction has stated publicly that it welcomes the counter programing and points out that the efforts made by the UFC to circumvent their first show points to an obvious concern on the UFC’s part.
EliteXC VP Jared Shaw echoed similar sentiments today when speaking exclusively to Fightline.com regarding the counter programing.
“I’m very excited actually,” Shaw told Fightline.com. “I hope that the special is Dana vs. Tito Ortiz in that long awaited boxing match. You know, Dana continues to outdo himself. EliteXC welcomes the counter programing from Dana White. It’s sad; what he’s really doing is an injustice to the UFC and his fighters because it means that that many less people are going to watch his fighters.”
Shaw also mentioned that highly regarded prospect Wilson Ries (4-0) will be fighting on July 26. Our friends over at Five Ounces Of Pain are reporting that his opponent will be Brian Caraway (9-2) who just defeated Alvin Cacdac at last Friday’s Strikeforce event.
Rafael Feijao is also a possibility for the card but Shaw told Fightline.com that he’s having a difficult time finding opponents for the prospect due to Feijao’s reputation.
“Guy’s are pricing themselves out of the fight because nobody wants to fight this guy,” said Shaw. “There are two ways to avoid a fight. One is to say point blank that you don’t want to fight and another is to price yourself out of that fight. People are outright saying that they don’t want to fight him and others are putting themselves outside of the range that EliteXC has available for them. There’s no doubt that this is the baddest light heavyweight on the planet and we open up the challenge to any 205’er that thinks that they can compete with him.”